Thursday, June 2, 2016

A. V. Koshy writes

An Epic on Childhood - 14 - The Game of Russian Roulette

he sat, across from her, at the table
playing strip poker
natalia, the russian spy
hi, i'm nick carter
when she lost her brassiere
he fondled her full twins
blue veined; was she an aristocrat?
but he lost the game
she pointed at him her derringer
after showing him
it was empty in one chamber
then rotating it
bang! he didn't blink at all
his eyes were fixed on her derriere
which she thrust back to shoot him, the moll
he could not decide
if he had died
and she was alive
or he was dreaming still
while she was awake
or he was alive
and she was dead
or she dreaming
he, alive in her dream
or if she was the queen of hearts
or the queen of clubs or spades
or only the diamond queen
all he knew was that he was
ever the knave of hearts
the joker in the pack
the betrayed king of dreams
and he was only eight

 Russian Roulette -- Batwynn

1 comment:

  1. Nick Carter made his first appearance in a 13-part serial that began in the 18 September 1886 issue of the "New York Weekly." The story, "The Old Detective's Pupil; or, The Mysterious Crime of Madison Square," was by John R. Coryell," based on a concept by Ormond G. Smith, the son of one of the founders of the publisher Street & Smith, which specialized in inexpensive paperbacks (often called "dime bovels") and magazines ("pulp fiction"). Soon the character headlined his own magazine, "Nick Carter Weekly," and the serialized stories from there were reprinted as stand-alone titles. The works were published under the house pseudonyms of "Nicolas Carter" or "Sergeant Ryan." Besides Coryell, other early writers included Frederick W. Davis, Frederick Van Rensselaer Dey, Thomas C. Harbaugh, George C. Jenks, Eugene T. Sawyer, and Charles Westerbrook. In 1908 the French film company Éclair hired Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset to make a serial film based on the Nick Carter novels; "Nick Carter,le roi des détectives" was released in six episodes, "Nouveaux aventures de Nick Carter" in 1909, and "Zigomar contre Nick Carter" in 1912. By 1915, "Nick Carter Weekly" was replaced by "Detective Story Magazine," featuring a more varied cast of characters; Carter was revived in that magazine in 1924–27. But, in the wake of the success of "The Shadow" and "Doc Savage," Street & Smith published "Nick Carter Detective Magazine" from 1933 to 1936, with many stories penned by Richard Edward Wormser; since Doc Savage had taken over Carter's background, Carter was recreated as a hard-boiled detective. This series of novels continued to appear through the 1950s. "The Return of Nick Carter" aired on radio, followed by "Nick Carter, Master Detective," which aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System radio network from 1943 to 1955, with scripts by Alfred Bester, Milton J. Kramer, David Kogan, and others. Mutual also aired the daily "Chick Carter, Boy Detective" about his adopted son from 1943 to 1945. Nick and Chick also appeared in comics published by Street & Smith; Nick appeared in "The Shadow Comics," moved to "Army & Navy Comics" and "Doc Savage Comics," and then back to "The Shadow Comics," while Chick appeared only in "The Shadow Comics." Walter Pidgeon played the detective in a trilogy of films released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer: "Nick Carter, Master Detective" (1939), "Phantom Raiders," (1940), and "Sky Murder" (1940). Columbia could not afford the rights to a Nick Carter serial, so it made one about his son, "Chick Carter, Detective: in 1946. Following the success of "James Bond," Carter was updated again in 1964 as secret agent Nick Carter, aka the Killmaster. The first of these novels was "Run Spy Run," and it was followed by more than 260 Nick novels by 1990; the 100th of these ("Nick Carter 100") contained an essay on the original iteration of the character and included a short story featuring him. In 1972, the original character was also made into a TV pilot starring Robert Conrad, "The Adventures of Nick Carter," which appeared as a made-for- television movie. The original detective also appeared in a Czech parody, "Dinner for Adele" in 1977. None of the books had author credits, though several were written by Michael Avallone, Valerie Moolman, Gayle Lynds, and Bill Crider. Stories have also been credited to "Harrison Keith," the joint pseudonym of John A. L. Chambliss and Philip Clark, who also wrote for the franchise in solo mode. Two more French films appeared, "Nick Carter va tout casser" (1964) and "Nick Carter et le trèfle rouge" (1965), but they were not connected to the Killmaster book series. "Nick Carter" was a 1972 Italian comic strip.


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